A friend insists that I spend an absurd amount of money to buy the original issue of Public Image's Metal Box, because the bass will just jump out of my speakers. For now, I'm living with the much cheaper double LP reissue called Second Edition. Fortunately the record has enough merits that even at 33 RPM, it brings me plenty of enjoyment. The debut single from Sacramento's Out Hud shows that even when recorded at a far lower budget (the liner notes say that it was recorded to 4-track but not much more), the basic ideas of Metal Box can still lead to striking results. Without sounding purposely retro or dated, Out Hud borrow the basic notion of abstract but simple structures built around powerful bass lines. The drums move all about in the creatively processed mix, without ever failing to provide their rhythmic bounce. The vocals are sparse and low in the mix but still prominent in the songs where they appear. The end result is a record which updates some ideas that had long since been forgotten in unusual and inspired ways. A really promising debut from an exciting new band. (Red Alert Works, PO Box 11752, Portland, OR 97211)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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